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For richer, for poorer

Forget aid—people in the poorest countries like Haiti need new cities with different rules. And developed countries should be the ones that build them

By Paul Romer   February 2010

Lacking electricity at home, students work under the dim lights of a parking lot at G’bessi Airport in Conakry, Guinea

On the first day of TEDGlobal, a conference for technology enthusiasts in Oxford in July 2009, a surprise guest was unveiled: Gordon Brown. He began his presentation with a striking photograph of a vulture watching over a starving Sudanese girl. The internet, he said, meant such shocking images circulated quickly around the world, helping to mobilise a new global community of aid donors. Brown’s talk ended with a call to action: developed countries should give more aid to fight…

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